A unique activity has enabled students learning about the global long walk to water to appreciate the problems of water scarcity across the globe and to learn more about water conservation.
“There’s so much they weren’t aware of,” said eighth-grade science teacher Steve Connors. “When I told them they were using 60 gallons of water for a 10-minute shower, and we extrapolated what 60 gallons looks like, they were floored.”
The eighth graders at Ross A. Lurgio Middle School benefited from a special curriculum based on the book “A Long Walk to Water” and expanded their world view. At the beginning, they knew little about Sudan, its people, or the problem of water scarcity.
By reading the book, students learned about the Sudanese civil war, and the hardships of people who had to walk two hours to fetch water from a pond for their family. They also learned about the earth’s hydrosphere, and calculated their daily use of water. They met a former Peace Corps volunteer who had lived in Swaziland and told them about daily living where water is rationed.
They also were able to relate the problems of Sudan’s scarcity of water with the problems being faced in California today.
“Just because we don’t have a water shortage here in New Hampshire doesn’t mean that many parts of the world aren’t dealing with water issues,” said science teacher Heather Brunelle. “We tell them all the time, these are going to be the big debates of the next century, over water access, water rights, and the next big global wars will be over water access.”